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Cliff's Edge

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Jazz ensemble piece performed by several friends of mine. It features two really great sax solos. It was recorded at Lawrence University choir room and I edited it down (the original was over 8 minutes) in Garageband. Jeff Cox on acoustic bass. Dane Richeson on drums. Woody Mankowski and Doug Schneider on saxophones. Ken Schaphorst on flugelhorn. Bob Levy on trumpet. (Artwork by Alan Perry.)

Cliff's Edge won the Macjams song contest in the autumn of 2004. It is a jazz interpretation of my composition "This One" from my Off Broadway musical drama "Creature" (based on Frankenstein).

Other songs featuring some of the same players:
I Wanna Fly
River Runs through Me
A Promise
Dreams III
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Song Stats
Hits: 14156
Comments: 58
Fans: 47
Plays: 2419
Downloads: 822
Votes: 70
Uploaded: Apr 22, 2004 - 01:52:36 PM
Last Updated: Feb 28, 2007 - 10:10:43 AM Last Played: Jul 04, 2019 - 01:43:11 AM
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Recorded on Yamaha equipment; mixed on a Mac.
ProTools; Peak; GarageBand.
piker said 5658 days ago (April 22nd, 2004)
...as in, contains many fine grooves. Diggable.
Check out my latest song called Jimmy Crack Corn
macapa said 5658 days ago (April 22nd, 2004)
Another keeper
Jeez, Tobin, if you keep offering this much good music to
MacJams, I won't need to buy another CD for a long while.

I'm keeping "this one too". Thanks for posting it!---
Thierry Daigneault
TobinMueller said 5617 days ago (June 2nd, 2004)
Another keeper
Nice catch on the title change, macapa. And thanks for the comments. I'll try
and keep them coming! I was part of the Internet is Free 90's movement, the
synergy of collaboration and everyone in it for the art thing. That's what
ArtsForge was all about. Now MacJams is a perfect venue.
Check out my latest song called Momentary Undertow
Mcboy said 5658 days ago (April 22nd, 2004)
i dig this the mostest...........soprano sax solo was
hip.....arrangement was topnotch....nice big sound from
the ensemble..drummer reminds me of the late eric
gravatt from Mccoy Tyners big band of the seventies...a 9
from me....
Check out my latest song called Bluesphemy (MJRF 2010)
kevin_stone said 5657 days ago (April 22nd, 2004)
Great musicianship
Wow you know some great players.. Knock out
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mujigo said 5657 days ago (April 23rd, 2004)
Very Nice
Very Nice
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morrie said 5655 days ago (April 24th, 2004)
Way to go Tobin
Tobin, As of this moment, your song sits atop the ratings
scale with an 8.27 from 11 ratings. Very nice. There are
some people who really like what you and your very
talented friends are creating. And I'm one of them.---Morrie
Check out my latest song called Just Be Calm
detdom said 5655 days ago (April 25th, 2004)
Way to go Tobin
diddo! amazing talent, performance, arrangement and overall finished
product! definete keeper!
10 from me

detdom (d.g.c)
casbahp said 5652 days ago (April 27th, 2004)
brightened up my day
thanks, tobin-what a treat!
mstuartev said 5651 days ago (April 28th, 2004)
Reminds of an afternoon
in the parking lot outside Old Orchard Shopping center
with my pops
listening to Woody HErman's Wambling Herd, wailing as the summer set sat down
well, a smaller ensemble
nicely done
I rekon a lotta 'ears' on Macjams don't hear this sort of thing too often (if ever at all). good exposure and good work. niiiiicce solo and mix-----You haven't lived til you been to Clarksdale
Check out my latest song called You're the One
TobinMueller said 5408 days ago (December 28th, 2004)
Reminds of an afternoon
Woody Herman's Herd was my dad's favorite too! Yeah, they knew how to cut
it up, thats for sure. Thanks for the memory.
Check out my latest song called Momentary Undertow
said 5650 days ago (April 30th, 2004)
...Very nice! Are you sure Flim Johnson isn't there, too? How 'bout the BB's?
Anonymous said 5648 days ago (May 1st, 2004)
Cool, Daddy-O
When can I buy the album?
TobinMueller said 5266 days ago (May 19th, 2005)
Cool, Daddy-O
(Why is it that when someone wants to buy the album, they also want to
remain anonymous!)
Check out my latest song called Momentary Undertow
tarki said 5644 days ago (May 6th, 2004)
helal sana...(turkish bravo)
cong.... you must be sell this :)
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penguinsocks said 5630 days ago (May 20th, 2004)
one great big reason why this song is so successful is that
it's recorded with REAL instruments played by REAL
musicians. you can't replicate a sound like this in GB and
with that kind of variation.
it got better and better as it went along. there was one
key moment where i thought, ah! this really worked in this
instant, the way everything fit together, and it kept going
with full strength. drums sound great. i like how they
sound further back when the song picks up.
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TobinMueller said 5617 days ago (June 2nd, 2004)
Wow. Great ears.
Check out my latest song called Momentary Undertow
Ringo said 5620 days ago (May 30th, 2004)
Yeah, Loved it
Used to play a lot of stuff like this with some of the music
students when I was at college (only nowhere near as
good). The recording quality is pretty good too.

Love to know where the title came from. I did a drum and
piano duet that ended up being called "Cake on Friday"
because it was Friday and..yeah you can guess the rest.
We even improvised the titles...

Anyway, this is Quality Stuff. Excellent
Check out my latest song called Real Slow
TobinMueller said 5266 days ago (May 19th, 2005)
Yeah, Loved it
The song is loosely based on a showtune I wrote called "This One." The
working title for the jazz version was "This One Too," as a pun for the count
off, "One, two..." But when I tried to imagine what the song did inside my
head, I felt like I was flying along the edge of a cliff, like in one of those Imax
movies. So I changed the title. Kind of dig the idea of dancing along a cliff's
edge while playing, and using that as an analogy for improvising, too. I like
titles that connote movement.
Check out my latest song called Momentary Undertow
JamesDeCaro said 5620 days ago (May 30th, 2004)
This is a nice tune. Sounds like the recording is from a
couple years ago...I'm currently at Lawrence as a music
major. Levy is retiring this year, Schaphorst is teaching at
NEC (though he came and played here a while ago), and
Dane is still here.
TobinMueller said 5617 days ago (June 2nd, 2004)
Yes, we recorded this in the choir room just off the practice rooms,
improvising a sound partition to "isolate" the drums, and stuck the recording
machine and Jeremy Satchell (in headphones) in the closet, balancing his
coffee on his LA Sound equipment. Never signed the tracks on with anyone,
so I recently edited down the original 8:48 track to post and share on
Check out my latest song called Momentary Undertow
obbster said 5611 days ago (June 8th, 2004)
Impressive, i love it.
Check out my latest song called Valar Morghulis
csnowbar said 5609 days ago (June 9th, 2004)
Good stuff!
This is a tight groove, man. Your nephew is a talented arranger. You're not so bad yourself either. I was a music major in college. Vocal was my emphasis, but I play piano, drums, and guitar. I hope someday to learn how to play some wind instruments so I can do some good arrangements, because, as you know, the best arrangers are those who know how to play the instruments they are arranging for. Correct me if I'm wrong but your nephew is probably an accomplished musician, right? I'm sure your just as good, if not better. Anyway, I keep blathering on. I've written some themes similar in style to this piece, but that was before Garageband came around. I've ordered it from Apple and it should be here any day now. As soon as I get some songs layed down, I'll be posting them. They won't be anywhere near the quality of yours (due to the lack of live instruments and accomplished players) but you might enjoy listening. I thoroughly enjoyed listening to this piece and will be looking for more. Thanks for sharing.

Craig Snowbarger
csnowbar said 5609 days ago (June 9th, 2004)
I forgot to ask you. Were you referring to Lawrence, Kansas? I was born and raised in Kansas. Just curious.
TobinMueller said 5583 days ago (July 6th, 2004)
Lawrence University, Appleton WI.
Check out my latest song called Momentary Undertow
SlimGirlFat said 5607 days ago (June 11th, 2004)
As Always
totally amazing sounds
great musicians

Moodee said 5580 days ago (July 9th, 2004)
How refreshing
What can I say, I love jazz and I dream I could
play this way. The joy when all the musicians
explode together made me think of the joy I
felt when listening to Stan Getz's "The Dirge"
on the album "Billy Highstreet Samba"
Thank you for the music !

Check out my latest song called Coalesce (Parkee mix) - re-uploaded
Del said 5579 days ago (July 10th, 2004)
The Best
What a great groove, great shifting rhythmic space. Absolutely fantastic set up for amazing solos. Great players, great chart.
Check out my latest song called The Androgyne
said 5572 days ago (July 17th, 2004)
More Kudos...
Great jazz track. The sax grooves are, as you said,
really great. Just a perfect, complete, satisfying
piece of music to listen to. I can't always describe
why a song is a good one. But I know when I hear
one! The ear doesn't lie.

mcsweb said 5557 days ago (August 1st, 2004)
Professional & Tight as Ever
Fantastic musicianship and writing. Beautiful
attention to detail and nuance. Sounds more
impressive the more you listen. Bravo!
Check out my latest song called Forgotten - 12
TobinMueller said 5408 days ago (December 28th, 2004)
Professional & Tight as Ever
Thanks. Yeah, we spent a ton of time on the details with this. Of course, it is
easier to blend players who already know how to listen to each other, but
making it work in the mix... must have taken use 4 hours just to mix it.
Thanks for noticing.
Check out my latest song called Momentary Undertow
Scorpjammer said 5557 days ago (August 1st, 2004)
Groovin on The East Coast
Way to go! Love this number. Now you and your
brother got proof that mom and dad are not wasting
their money on your college educations! Good luck
to you and your musical friends. Hope to see on the
jazz fest circuit one of these days. Checkout:

Check out my latest song called Christmas Time Is Here
TobinMueller said 5346 days ago (February 28th, 2005)
Groovin on The East Coast
Great comment! We all need to show proof sooner or later, don't we? Mom
sang jazz for lullabyes. And my father was always a huge backer ... my entire
life. Your comments mean more as the years go by.
Check out my latest song called Momentary Undertow
koolpaw said 5550 days ago (August 8th, 2004)
great work!!
its hard to play real "jazz" with computers.
And this is BIG BAND JAZZ with good band arrangement :o
Check out my latest song called Strong In The Rain -Amenimo Makezu
said 5545 days ago (August 12th, 2004)
Never been too much in to the jazz side of life, but I love a
great riff when I hear one and this one may make me
change my mind! I keep playing the beginning of this
track over and over again.

It simply makes the hairs on the back of
your neck stand up as soon as it starts - just how good
music is supposed to! Keep up the good work! Graham
TobinMueller said 5408 days ago (December 28th, 2004)
Thanks. I love it when the music can make the hairs stand up. Thanks for
listening and staying with it. I really appreciate it.
Check out my latest song called Momentary Undertow
SpasmodicMan said 5349 days ago (February 25th, 2005)
cats can blow
Man, you cats can blow. Some great moments. Wish the recording was closer sounding, but great capture. Wish I'd a been there in the room. Took me over the cliff with ya, you did.
Check out my latest song called The Androgyne
thetiler said 5347 days ago (February 27th, 2005)
master of suspense
I've heard this before.
Love the suspense of it.

Another great tune!

Thanks for sharing.

Love that horn sound, really scootin.

Check out my latest song called They Went Underground
said 5307 days ago (April 8th, 2005)
good !
Very good solos !
TobinMueller said 5304 days ago (April 11th, 2005)
good !
Yes, these cats can really blow. An absolute joy recording this. And I think
we did it all in 2 takes. Such fun.
Check out my latest song called Momentary Undertow
John Stebbe said 5292 days ago (April 22nd, 2005)
Well done
A great groove. So great to hear live music. You're right-
the sax solos are terrific. And your nephew is doing a fine
job on the 88s.

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Einarus said 5285 days ago (April 30th, 2005)
Groovy and extremely cool.
Love it!
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krtaylo said 5093 days ago (November 8th, 2005)
great toon and arrangement
Love the way the arrange has space but still features some very tight harmines and rythms. Solos are incredible. I like the tune because it's accessible for the average listener. Wouls hav liked the drums to be more present but overall a fine recording in such an improvised space.
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TobinMueller said 5090 days ago (November 11th, 2005)
great toon and arrangement
Jazz drums are inherently light and difficult to give the same power as normally
heard. In this case, everyone played in the same room with the drums
sequestered by 2 five foot glass walls but the sound still bled onto everyone's
mic. It was torture trying to mix it and give it the right ambience. What amazes
me his the groove he uses. He only had hits on his chart, the groove was totally
his invention. Never tell a drummer exactly what to do, they will come up with
something cooler than you can even imagine (unless, or course, you are a
drummer too.)
Check out my latest song called Momentary Undertow
DynamiteDave said 5066 days ago (December 5th, 2005)
Boppidy, slurpy, Seasoned, it's a slipp'n and slide'n. Enjoyed it a lot!
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thoddi said 4930 days ago (April 20th, 2006)
Cant beleive I missed this one... this is so goooood:)

I found a link to this one from Einarus' homepage....

I can't tell any more than what has been said before... other than I really like it too:) If not that kick drum has been mentioned, it has a true jazz feel and sound to it. And that bass player kicks ass...

If you don't mind, I'll D/L a copy for my collection of MJ goodies...

Check out my latest song called How can I make it up to you
Richlee said 4840 days ago (July 18th, 2006)
You and the boys up there in Conn sure got something going on. Nice tight build up to those disonant voicings in the horns. Dittos on the soprano solo and your tasteful little piano licks. I thought the drummer could have taken a few extra measures up top before everything kicked in to further emphasize the intensification that permeates this piece. Loved it

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tatin said 4778 days ago (September 19th, 2006)
sound from the band. Top notch ensemble playing from the composition.
Great solos.
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said 4617 days ago (February 27th, 2007)
not only
Do you have a gorgeous brass section goin' on here - woah on the sax, the down beat is exceptional in the swing of things -> definitely see why it's a fav of yours. Nice!. - Harold
TobinMueller said 4616 days ago (February 28th, 2007)
brass section
Thanks. The brass section was 2 reeds (sop and tenor sax) and 2 horns (trumpet and flugelhorn). We actually had to do a few more takes than normal to capture the kind of trumpet I was looking for, but it ended up having wonderful consequences.
Check out my latest song called Momentary Undertow
DOCTORBIZARRE said 4617 days ago (February 27th, 2007)
Amazingly killer
Wow what a great tune!
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bug67 said 4617 days ago (February 27th, 2007)
Holy Jazz ensemble Batman!
Really, I'm speechless as to how to put in words the emotion this conveys to me. I love jazz. This is, without a doubt, top frickin' notch! So glad you posted a link to it in John's forum thread. Might not have heard it otherwise. So glad I stopped by!
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Cori Ander said 4610 days ago (March 5th, 2007)
Really reallly great
Really reallly great. First it is a super nice piece. Then it is superbly performed, really cool and dynamic. What an unerring band. And the recording: so full of natural space. This one on headphones is a treat, so naturally deep and beautiful!

Glad you pointed it out!!
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TobinMueller said 4610 days ago (March 6th, 2007)
Headphones and the cache of MJ tunes
Thanks for listening in headphones! Music sounds so much better in good headphones. I've spent so many hours in studios listening in headphones to pristine gorgeous mixes only to be disappointed by the relatively dead spaced result of the final track in speakers. I wish they could figure out how to deliver dynamic, lush, warm, detailed sounds in speakers, or that maybe the rooms themselves could be better audio environs. Thanks for listening to this older track. I am really happy people keep listening to the cache of great tunes in the MJ database.
Check out my latest song called Momentary Undertow
FEEL said 4610 days ago (March 5th, 2007)
Really enjoyable jam... that's a great example to me of separating the men from the boys. A lot of talent thrown around in there live on the fly. Thanks for sharing..
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Scott Carmichael said 4476 days ago (July 18th, 2007)
You are in a class by yourself
This is so good... It's clear that there are many great songs that came and went before i got here... Your mixing and production choices are always top shelf... It doesn't hurt that there is no weak link in this chain of players... But i really like your choices here in the mix... it's not fusion... it's definatley jazz... but it's ramped up... the drums don't sound like traditional jazz drums, but they're perfect for this peice, and a little testoserone soaked... you've captured a very believable stage... it's at once spacious and still in my face... tyou seam to work in 3 dimension, while I'm stuck in 2...

I often have the thought "I'd like to look over your shoulder when you work"
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TobinMueller said 2937 days ago (October 4th, 2011)
Working in 3 dimensions.
Thanks, Scott. I love when you comment on my stuff. Definitely makes me feel good. I told the drummer to do a hip hop groove with a jazz feel and to not feel constrained by genre or expectation. He made the chart come alive, set the tone. A few of those almost rock moments came by accident, not original design, and I guess the whole rhythm section shares the blame. But the power of Woody's soprano sax solo added such passion to the piece that it was hard not to respond by adding a heavy dose of something to the mix. That moment is about as head-banging as jazz gets for me.
Check out my latest song called Momentary Undertow
tokai said 2981 days ago (August 21st, 2011)
such a beautiful piece of art. Loved it.
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Artist Info
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Name: Tobin Mueller
Location: Rowayton CT USA
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I am a professional musician, composer, playwright and director. I've led a charmed life. I'm married to fellow MJer Suzanne and MJer Twonicus is my son, who currently sings and writes for rock bands in the NYC, D.C. and Cleveland areas. My second s... [see more]

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